On my super-short staying in Paris in February I had the opportunity to meet and the interview Axelle, the founder of Ma Bonne Amie.
Ma Bonne Amie is a service that allows you to rent dresses for any occasions, especially for special evenings and weddings. Axelle was the first in Paris to launch this kind of activity and the showroom now counts more than 200 clothes by Elie Saab, Roberto Cavalli, Sonia Rikyel, Balmain, Lanvin and many others well-known designers.
Axelle and Flavie were so nice to me and they made me feel like a princess trying on some of the most beautiful dresses they have in their showroom, you can see them here! (Thanks Flavie for the pics, it was snowing there and we were both freezing!)
Axelle reveals me that in April there will be the launch of the new e-commerce platform but news are not finished here so…let’s discover this project!
When do you start and where this idea of renting haute-couture dresses come from?
I started the business in 2009 and it was really the beginning of renting in France while in the US this kind of service was already common. We know that renting was the way of changing the market. We start with bags and dress, especially for the evening. Many women think that it’s difficult to find the perfect dress for an event without spending a fortune and also trying to buy something that you’ll use again. First of all I opened a website but the idea was to make people to come to the showroom. It’s very important for us to give advices and tips about style, we know what better suits a woman’s body.
I started this business because I had this need of not buying an expensive dress to wear it only once. I thought: “This dress could be perfect for many other girls for a special occasion”. That’s how I started.
And what is your background?
I was in Business School and then I worked as a consultant in communication field. After ten years I feel it was the perfect moment to launch my business. Flavie is a stylist and she joins me later in the activity.
You offer also a “coaching” service. What does it consist of?
We want to help women to dress not only in important occasions but also in day-to-day routine. We are now introducing a more daily collection in our showroom to easily find clothes for meetings or office’s days because it often happens that women don’t dare to buy very different outfits for their worktime. Women will have the possibility to rent a dress and then to buy it if they want. We will open different pop-up stores in Paris.
How do you leverage digital for your activity?
First of all our new website will be about renting and buying. You’ll have a personal account with all the things you have already borrowed. We will give advices based on the info clients give us so we will also make the perfect match for their body (caratteristiche e gusti)
If we talk about digitalizazion of the activity after establishing the new website we want to develop our own virtual fitting and connected clothes with QR code.
What about Ma Bonne Amie community of Clients?
We want to introduce something more than “rent and buy”. Thanks to our Community there will be the possibility to buy at different prices: you will be able to buy new clothes and rented clothes and they will obviously have two different prices. The more the dress is rented the less it costs. In this way we want to create more community engagement because friends will help each other to buy their dream clothes. Some of our Client will always buying clothes at the highest price but this action will leverage the difference.
Some tips for girls who want to make business as entrepreneur?
I think that I am in business because I had an eye for it. You need to bring something new, you have to revolution the market in some way and change things. You also have to know when it’s the right time for you and be patient, when it’s the right time you have to be ready.